Today’s Climate: February 21-22, 2009

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Obama Budget Factors in Carbon Cap (New York Times)

The president’s budget, expected Thursday, will include new revenues by 2012 from a proposal to require companies to buy permits for greenhouse gas emissions. The CBO estimates the permits would raise up to $300 billion a year by 2020.

Rich Nations Failing to Meet Climate Aid Pledges (Guardian)

The world’s richest countries have pledged nearly $18 billion to help poorer countries adapt to climate change, but less than $1 billion has been disbursed, an analysis shows. The failure is fostering deep distrust and undermining negotiations on a global climate deal.

U.S. Decision Spurs International Mercury Emissions Treaty (Washington Post)

More than 140 countries have agreed to negotiate a legally binding treaty aimed at slashing the use of mercury. The agreement followed the Obama administration’s reversal of U.S. policy and decision to embrace a binding pact.

China’s Chery Unveils Plug-In Hybrid (Bloomberg)

Chinese Automaker Chery says its S18 plug-in hybrid can travel up to 93 miles on batteries alone, a range more than twice as far as GM’s planned Chevy Volt.

Abu Dhabi’s Carbon Capture Project Delayed (The National)

A decision in Abu Dhabi on whether to proceed with the world’s first power project to incorporate carbon capture and storage on a commercial scale has been postponed to late 2010.

Start Up the Risk Takers (Thomas Friedman)

When it comes to helping companies, precious public money should focus on start-ups, not bailouts of massive wealth-destruction machines.

California Losing Main Water Source to Drought (Reuters)

California’s main source of irrigation water is expected to go dry this year for most of its growers due to drought, idling at least 60,000 workers and up to 1 million acres.

Clinton Paints China Policy With a Green Hue (New York Times)

Declaring that “we hope you won’t make the same mistakes we made,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invites China to join the U.S. in an ambitious effort to curb greenhouse gases.

Fly on the Wall to a Conversation among Climate Leaders (AP)

A reporter listens in as a small, elite group of global leaders, stranded by bad weather on their way to Antarctica, discuss the dangers of climate change and how to respond.

Greenest Nation: Out Innovating Everyone Else (Newsweek)

America is a more flexible laboratory for policy innovation than Europe. With vast and lively experimentation among state and local governments, good policies can be quickly copied and bad ones adapted.

Envisioning an Interconnected Energy System (Philadelphia Inquirer)

If President Obama’s economic stimulus works, energy saving scenes like this are around the corner.

Fighting Climate Change With Fish and Chips (New York Times)

Hundreds of small plants in Britain are processing used cooking oil to be poured directly into unmodified diesel cars, and often selling it to private motorists. They have been deluged by offers of free oil from restaurants.